Monday 20 June 2011

"Birth Right"

On 20 June 2011, I was interviewed by Sara Ivry for Tablet Magazine's podcast, Vox Tablet, about my doctoral research on fertility policies in Israel. I discussed the evolution of these policies, from Ben-Gurion's cash “Birth Prizes” awarded to mothers on the birth of their 10th child in the early days of the state to today’s heavily subsidized fertility procedures for women who wish to conceive, and about accusations that these policies have favoured Jewish citizens over others.


In this article, published in Tablet Magazine in June 2011, I explore Israel's fertility policies within the context of the seemingly paradoxical decision to keep  Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, in solitary confinement for more than 15 years while allowing him to father a child. I argue that in the context of Israel's exceptionally pro-natalist fertility policies, this seeming paradox actually makes sense.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

On Circumcision

In this piece, published in The Guardian in June 2011, my friend and colleague, Neil Howard, and I discuss male infant circumcision. We ask whether the differences between male and female circumcision are so straightforward as to justify a distinction in the law. The article was prompted by a bill in San Francisco in 2011 that proposed to outlaw the circumcising, cutting, or mutilation of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person aged under 18, with an exemption for cases of medical necessity, but not for custom or ritual. Unsurprisingly, the bill attracted considerable controversy at the time, primarily from feminists who objected to the idea of comparing male and female genital cutting, as well as from those who regard attempts to limit the practice of infant male circumcision as a modern manifestation of anti-Semitism. We explored some of these issues.